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Friday, November 2, 2012

 11:13 AM 

Romney promises West Allis crowd he'll bring 'real change'

WEST ALLIS -- GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney told supporters here this morning that he will bring "real change" and bashed President Obama for failing to deliver the economic progress he promised four years ago.

"Real change is not measured in words," Romney told the crowd. "Real change is measured in achievements."

Romney, who spoke to an overflowing crowd at Wisconsin State Fairgrounds, only briefly mentioned the new job numbers that showed unemployment rising to 7.9 percent as the country added 172,000 jobs. He noted unemployment today is still higher than when Obama took office and that the country is still 9 million jobs short of Obama's initial promise.

Romney also attacked the president for blaming problems with the slow rate of economic recovery on George W. Bush, saying he wouldn't blame his problems as president "on my predecessor."

"I'm not just going to take office on Jan. 20," Romney said. "I'm going to take responsibility for that office as well."

Romney focused almost entirely on the economy and ObamaCare, saying he would offer state's waivers from ObamaCare when he took office to get the ball started on repeal of the health care law. He also said that he would do what he did as Massachusetts governor and work across the aisles to achieve a balanced budget and fiscal responsibility.

"When [Obama] said he can't change Washington from the inside, in this case, you can take him at his word," Romney said. "We're going to put him outside soon."

Before launching into his pitch, Romney asked supporters to keep the victims of Hurricane Sandy in mind and urged them to donate to the Red Cross and charities that can help those affected.

It was Romney's first visit to Wisconsin since shortly after picking Paul Ryan in August as his running mate, and the stop was postponed due to the hurricane.

Romney praised Ryan, telling the crowd that other than Ann Romney, picking the congressman as his running mate was the best decision he's ever made.

Romney was introduced by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who praised Romney's ability to cross party lines to achieve progress. The crowd also sang "Happy Birthday" to Walker, who turns 45 today, before his speech. Walker said he only wanted one birthday present: the election of Romney.

Walker also offered criticism of the new job numbers, which he characterized as unacceptable.

Prior to Romney and Walker, the crowd was stirred up by former Packers quarterback Bart Starr, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, GOP Senate candidate Tommy Thompson and other local GOP legislators.


The Romney campaign said 4,500 attended the rally with another 1,500 that filled an overflow room. Romney spokesman Ben Sparks said the campaign turned away about 2,000 people.

The Wisconsin State Fair Park Police, which oversee the grounds, said it did not do a crowd estimate and referred questions to the Romney campaign.

-- By Jason Smathers


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